Northern Ireland Launches Cervical Cancer Vaccination Program
The programme to immunise girls against the Humanpapillomavirus (HPV) which can cause cervical cancer was officially launched today.
Starting this month, the vaccine which protects against the two strains of the virus that cause around 70% of cervical cancer cases will be routinely offered to girls aged 12-13 in schools across Northern Ireland.
Speaking at the launch of the programme in St Joseph’s College, Belfast, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride said: “Cervical cancer kills around 40 women every year in Northern Ireland and touches the lives of many more. The HPV vaccine is a major breakthrough in the fight against cancer and will help prevent young women from developing a potentially deadly disease.
“Girls aged 12-13 will be offered the vaccine this autumn, while a catch-up programme will make the vaccine available to girls aged 13-18 over the next three years. Health and Social Care Trusts across Northern Ireland will work with their local education authorities and schools to implement the programme. Parents will shortly be receiving, if they have not already, information about when the vaccination programme will commence in their child's school.